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– “Providing opportunities for students on stage like releasing birds from a cage”- Justin Pearsall.
Blog written by Cara Monaco an English teacher at Oracle Charter high school, Buffalo NY and a Club Advisor for SAGE. Cara has been an active member of SAGE since she was a sophomore in high school.
What is SAGE?
SAGE stands for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship, and is an organization that promotes business entrepreneurship clubs in high schools and colleges. SAGE is different from other business clubs because its students focus on meeting the needs of their local and global communities. SAGE sponsors competitions at the regional, national, and international levels where clubs compete by presenting not only their business plans, but also the execution of their project over the year.
Students are critiqued by a panel of judges who are recognized leaders in their respective fields. The judges look for specific criteria based on what type of business created: an SEB (Social Enterprise Business) or an SRB (Social Responsible Business). Students working on an SEB are looking to meet needs in their communities for a greater good and can be non-profit. Students working on an SRB, while they must meet various needs in their communities, are focused on making a profit.
What is an Entrepreneur?
I have come to understand that an entrepreneur is not simply someone who is business oriented. Entrepreneurs are found all around us in our students, teachers, leaders, and members in our community. Entrepreneurs are the people who see potential, who think out of the box, and provide the space for that potential to be released. This mindset is what creates the various businesses presented at SAGE competitions around the world.
Why SAGE at Oracle?
At the end of my first year of experience at Oracle, I realized that SAGE is a great addition to the school community. The SAGE project provides students with an important, authentic avenue to show case skills that we would like our students to leave high school with: commitment, character, a work ethic, responsibility, communication, organization, etc.
SAGE also allows students to learn from students outside their own school and community. By bringing SAGE to Oracle Charter high school, our students were able to learn from students across the nation and world, and, just the same, students from across the nation and world can learn from our students. It is an empowering feeling to have respect from people you do not know: peers and judges, alike, and I want that for my students.
What is SAGE at Oracle?
At Oracle the business the students created was an SEB titled, S.T.A.R.: Sharing Talent and Respect. The team’s goal was to promote the arts within our school and local community. The following is a list of ventures and accomplishments from the year:
- Talent Show at OCS
- Poetry Slam at the Gypsy Theatre, where SAGE paid for students to perform
- Open Mic at the Niagara Branch Library, we provided transportation for our students and even OCS parents joined in
- Competed in the regional SAGE competition at D’Youville College where we placed 2nd
- Talent Show and College Tour provided for audience members at D’Youville College
- Competed in the national SAGE competition held at the University of Pittsburgh
Why a focus on the arts?
Something that the students saw lacking in our own school community was a place for students to express their talents. Since the team is comprised of very talented individuals, this was an obvious choice. Students who participated in our events were interested in this idea because they, too, felt that there were not spaces available to showcase their talents. As our students continue to learn and grow from SAGE, we would like to encourage students from other Buffalo schools to get involved in our business and expand our venues.
What have I learned?
First and foremost, my students, our students, are inspiring individuals. The students in SAGE committed to the project, made strong presentations at the competitions, and showcased incredible talent at the events that the club sponsored or attended.
Next year we know there will be more competition and strong presentations from our competitors. With a year of experience and a great project we are expecting to be able to make a great showing at the competitions. With a solid foundation and a commitment to our project we are hoping to make an impact on our community, and continue to provide an avenue for young people to present their talents.
Oracle Charter School is one of the high schools in Buffalo, NY. Oracle is committed to expanding the horizons of its college bound students and enriching their world view.